In early twentieth century Montana, Colonel William Ludlow (Sir Anthony Hopkins) lives in the wilderness with his sons, Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn), and Samuel (Henry Thomas). Eventually, the unconventional, but close-knit, family encounters tragedy when Samuel is killed in World War I. Tristan and Alfred survive their tours of duty, but, soon after they return home, both men fall for Samuel's gorgeous fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond), and their intense rivalry begins to destroy the family.Written by
This movie and book contain occasional Cornish language terms, the Ludlows are a Cornish emigrant family. See more »
In some shots, the log house used in the movie has a shiny modern metal roof, complete with snow-guards to slow the slide-off of snow. In other shots, or from other angles, the roof is comprised of rustic looking wooden boards. See more »
You see this man? His name is One Stab. He's a venerated elder of the Cree nation. He's counted coup on hundreds of his enemies. He is our friend, and he is thirsty.
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Television broadcasts exclude some graphic violence and blood, profanity, and nudity. See more »
Moved me like no film I've seen in a long damn time!
I watch a lot of movies & I can't remember the last time a film held me so spellbound. Not only are the characters engaging & vividly portrayed by an excellent cast, the subtle dynamics of their interactions are portrayed with inspired undertone & nuance. Star billing or even an Oscar should also have been awarded to the spectacularly beautiful scenery of Montana for the vast majesty it bestowed.
This complex saga of love, grief & loyalty is narrated with stark simplicity by old Stab, long-time friend to retired Colonel Ludlow & his 3 sons: staid Alfred, the eldest ("old even for his years"); idealistic Samuel, the youngest ("There was nothing these brothers would not do for him."); & wild Tristan ("Such people become crazy or they become legends."). The conflict between Ludlow's fiercely anti-government anti-war stance & his sons' determination to do what they see as their duty is but a small part of the story; the heart of the tale is the rift that threatens the mutual devotion of these 3 loyal brothers as they all come to love the same woman. "She was not to blame," Stab tells us, "She was like the ice that freezes in the rock and splits it apart."
A tragic tale, yes; heartbreaking at times, but never boring. Every time I felt certain I knew what was coming next, the plot took another unexpected turn & I sat there riveted, softly breathing "Wow!" now & again into the darkness. This film immediately became one of my all-time favorites; I've watched it half a dozen times since then & its scope & power never fail to move me.
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